Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blaakyum History (1995 - 2000)

BLAAKYUM is A Lebanese Heavy Metal Band. The Band Started in the Summer of 1995; Bassem Deaïbess who has been playing the guitar for a while and singing had the typical dream of most young musicians, to have a band. Maroun Azar was Deaïbess neighbor and friend since they were small kids. The weird thing is that both of them would chat for hours from each own home balcony but never really met. So after 17 years of existence they discovered that they both love the guitar, Deaïbess started giving Azar some guitar lessons then both of them decided to look for a teacher and to form a band With Deaïbess as vocalist and guitarist and Azar as Guitars and Harmonica.Later in a Spiritual gig in front of a Church Deaïbess and Azar was introduced to Jean Saad, a talented very young drummer, after a short practice he played with them on that gig and they became friends, Saad Joined the band. After a "short-time search" the guys found Jad Nohra (Azar's school mate) as a lead guitarist. They started rehearsing at Saad's home basement without a bassist. they started playing some pop and pop/rock songs, M. Azar had to leave the band because he was too busy studying Medicine.Later on Jean Abdullah was asked to handle the bass since he use to play some guitars. but he didn't have any experience and he didn't take any lessons so unfortunately he couldn't make it. but he decided to stick to the band and was a great help specially on the management level. The Band started as a Grunge-Punk Band; and the band played it's first gig at The Lebanese University - Faculty of Human Since -Fanar (Deaïbess's University), without a bassist (The bassist of Generations X band helped them a bit on that gig). After auditioning a couple of bassists The band wasn't able to find any until Deaïbess's Brother Samer Deaïbess took the Bass Guitar role. After a while the band switched to Thrash Metal with Metallica being the biggest influence (1996). In that period the band played another gig in a gas station hangar, the concert didn't work out since the sound (that was provided by Disco Stips) SUCKED!! Then the band gigged in some pubs around the Lebanese Mountain, like Ritz Pub, 3 Demotions Pub... and others. The band played in the 1st rock festival that took place in the 90's in Beirut Hall, the well known Rock Concert 1. But the band didn't do well on that concert. Then The Doom Wave struck the country and Doom bands started pooping All over Lebanon, so BLAAKYUM played Doom/Black Metal but not for long, because of the bad reputation the band had from "Rock Concert 1" the band started having some problems within the members mainly Nohra, so He left the band after a Great concert at Jamhour College where they gigged with what once was one of the Lebanese most talented Doom Bands 'Chain Of Decease', the band performed a full set of there own songs.

After the departure of Nohra, Samer Deaïbess had to quit so he could concentrate on his official exams at school. Mano was brought to fill in the bass role and the band started looking for a lead guitarist. after trying a couple of guitarists they found Shant Bajacksian a very young and talented guitarist as well, but Bajacksian had also official exams and couldn't keep up. so Nohra rejoined the band, but things didn't work out, and he insisted that Bassem Deaïbess would quit singing and concentrate on the rhythm Guitar, in the same time he started another band with Mano and Saad called unofficially "Society", Deaïbess felt that the band was falling apart and that Saad and Mano will leave the band to stay with Society, that's when he met Vicken Bajacksian (Shant's elder brother) in a rehearsal center where "Society" were rehearsing, and they decide to reform Blaakyum. So Bajacksian introduced his Friend Georgic on drums. Deaïbess contacted Jean-Pierre Mattar from the number 1 Lebanese Rock and Metal band "Exceed", and Mattar said he would try out for one concert. After the band rehearsed and played it's 1st concert at Peak Hall (use to be called Peak FM Concert Hall) Mattar decided to join the band officially, but he asked to get another drummer, and he suggested Sir Ghassan Saker X-Strangers and x-Cedra (the number 1 NWOBHM Lebanese Band) and a D.I.T. London graduate and an old friend to Mattar. So the band was reformed with great musicians. The Band played Heavy Metal mainly with a bit of Thrash, and it gigged in pubs with some Classic Metal tunes with Jad Aouad on drums. in 1998 the Band reached it's peak with 13 shows at PEAK FM Concert Hall, 2 Bands competitions (BLAAKYUM won the Band competition at Marriott Hotel with a professional Jury : Walid Tawil (Drums), Edgar Aoun (Vocals), Oussama El-Rouhbani (Music), and the General Manager of Marriott Hotel as the public listener in the Jury). And they recorded there single "AM I Black" at RAM studio in Haret-Hraik; Am I Black is a soft Rock/Doom song that the Lebanese scene now knows by heart.

The departure of Saker because of some health problems opened the doors for the band to a new realm, The band had to maintain it's professional level and high quality, creative, and talented music, so they settled on Sir Rodrigue Balian a drummer the band had never heard anything like before, he was the first double bass drummer the band had ever had, he brought the progressive influence to the band since Balian was a Dream Theater fan, playing progressive was the hardest task for the band, so Deaïbess called on his old friend Jad Nohra to rejoin the band and so he did. After that the band started rehearsing and they worked on two new songs called "Deathdeny" and "The Gate" witch was suppose to be the title track of the CD. They performed a concert in La Cité Jounieh with the band Alienz (Blaakyum saw a great talent in the Alienz and decided to support them) .
J.P. Mattar had to go to the army, so the band had to find another guitarist, and Balian suggested his friend William Mallouk who was the next right choice since he composes good progressive music, and was a very talented lead guitarist. The next step was a new concert, the band played in Ehdin Festivals with the band Alienz, it was a very special event since Blaakyum and Alienz were the 1st bands from Beirut to ever play in the north and specially in Ehdin.Balian Had to leave the band for personal reasons and David Elias (Armageddon Drummer) Was in. Bajacksian rejoined Valhalla and left Blaakyum, Vicken Bajacksian was the member that stayed with Blaakyum the most (other than Deaïbess the founder). so the band auditioned Walid El-Massieh and Robert Aramouni for bass and El-Massieh was chosen by the band (although Deaïbess preferred Aramouni). Not long after, William Mallouk had to leave the band because he had to go back to his beloved country Brazil. Jad Nohra got a job in Germany and had to leave the band. So Deaïbess asked Robert Aramouni to join the band in the middle of the year 2000. He contacted Walif Ayoubi as well and they rehearsed for a while, then Deaïbess thought of getting Elias Njeim (the most popular Lebanese Metal Guitarist), but things weren't working out well, So Deaïbess contacted Alan Azar from Alienz to handle the Lead Guitars since he was into the progressive thing.

For a short period of time David Elias couldn't play because of some health problems so Mazen filled his place for a while. This lineup of Blaakyum that was Deaïbess, Alan Azar, Robert Aramouni, and David Elias could be considered one of the best, the band played in Rock Nation 1 at CrepAway Jounieh-Maameltain, and it was a good concert, it showed surprisingly the band that it had the biggest fan base.
After the concert that band was put on hold because David Elias was not stable and Deaïbess and Aramouni Joined The Alienz. Because of a big conflict between the 2 bands and after Deaïbess was fired from Alienz, and because of David Elias attitude (he said he would only record and not play live with the band) Deaïbess decided to announce the final split of Blaakyum.

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